For the lack of words, Japan's beauty is everlasting. The first time I've been there was 2 years ago, I came there with less research and an urge to just go to some museums and Disneyland, but with the goodness of their people and their incredible culture, my perception of Japan has changed. I knew from there on that this country is a place that I will visit regularly. People may speak a different language, yet, they will make you feel home and hopeful, that fact simply proves that it is truly the Land of the Rising Sun.
Last week, Bart shared our first days in Japan. Yes, that was his first time and with him I see Asia's timeless beauty even more. Also, it’s my first winter experience and connecting it with Bart’s letter, seeing snow in Kyoto was just a perfect childhood experience for me and it’s purely amazing to see!
From Bart's letter about Kyoto.
Nara was our first stop in this version of mine and freedom always comes to mind whenever I hear about this city. The rise of alt-J, an English band, also became the rise of my curiosity about Nara, because this city became their inspiration for their song, Nara. Well for alt-J, the song is about homosexuality and discrimination, and some say in connection with this it may also be about wanting to runaway to be free like the deers of Nara and in some cases be treated as godlike creatures.
A sense of excitement was definitely inside me that time and the moment we went out of the train station, I felt complete happiness. Few more steps and there they were–the deers that we’ve been longing to see. They’re beautiful creatures, but still kind of scary because they’re obsessed with food and they won’t stop walking after you if they could still sniff even a tiny bit of their snack. However, even though they act like that they’re still friendly and it is truly impressive how Nara could maintain all those.
The city is more than just the deers as well, because they have other cultural and historical places to see around the area. One of those is the Kashuga-taisha Shrine or also known as the place of lanterns. Too bad we weren’t able to see the lanterns at night, but we know that they’re magical to see. We’ve also seen shops selling some unique pieces of souvenirs, like the traditional bow and arrow of Japan, the Yumi.
There's still so much to see around Nara, so we are definitely sure that we will be back some time since our stay there was cut short. For now, we’ve had a great Into the Woods feels in that city and we wish to see the deers again.
A train back to Osaka is the start of the end of our tour, we could already feel it–the adrenaline wears off–yet we kept on walking till we see good places to eat good food in Dotonbori (funny, but we were really hungry). A home, that was what I felt in Osaka, it was like seeing familiar places in different timelines. It is kind of similar to being in your own television show at your own alleyway. This is the city on where in each step you take, in each street you discover, you will be able to witness a different culture. We loved it and for now, that’s what we know.
Market in Shinsekai
All these may be the end of my second time in Japan and I hope to be back soon. Great lessons were also learned at the end of this tour and the value of respect for every single thing is one of those. With everything happening in my hometown now it’s still definitely hard to see, it’s still foggy so to say. I long for it, not just for peace, but because everyone deserves a home, everyone deserves to be free, and just like the deers of Nara, everyone’s entitled for a good life. And just like the streets of Osaka, everyone deserves to see the beauty of their own home.
We’ll see you soon Japan, real soon, and we are excited for it.
P.S. We still got one more letter to go and it is about Universal Studios Japan! Stay tuned next week!